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For a truly authentic French alpine skiing experience, look no further than Serre Chevalier in the southern Alps, one of the top skiing and snowboarding destinations in France. The scenery is spectacular even by winter sports standards, with two-thirds of the resort covered in trees and jaw-dropping views over the Ecrins mountains, the Italian Alps and even Mont Blanc. With many stunning tree-lined runs to enjoy, you will never forget the sheer thrill of skiing through snow-laden larch trees under a clear blue sky. And be sure to try the thigh-burning Vauban red run that surprisingly finishes in the main shopping street of nearby Briancon.
Serre Che, as this hidden gem is popularly known, consists of a dozen or so villages stretched out along three valleys – with an excellent bus service, so don’t worry if your day’s skiing finishes somewhere unexpected! This corner of France is also a well-known suntrap, boasting over 300 days of sunshine each year. The snow record is impressive too, and a third of the entire ski area is covered by a network of snow cannons.
The 250kms of pisted runs offers plenty for skiers of all abilities, but the resort is part of the super-skiing area of the Grande Galaxie, together with Les Deux Alpes and La Grave, the rather menacing sounding resort just along from the Col du Lautaret that’s a must-do for advanced skiers and off-piste enthusiasts (and often requires a ski guide).
The principal villages of Chantemerle, Monêtier les Bains and Villeneuve are traditional, cosy villages full of character and with plenty of homely bars and restaurants offering fantastic local cuisine, and will particularly appeal to families. If time allows, a visit to nearby Briancon is highly recommended thanks to its stunning Vauban-built fortress.
Serre Chevalier Mountain Guide:
Resort Height: 1,326-1,500m
Snow Range: 1,350-2,830m
Pistes: 55 Easy | 44 Intermediate | 17 Difficult
Lifts: 1 Cable Cars | 6 Gondola | 21 Chairlifts | 30 Drag Lifts | 4 Magic Carpets
1 Snow Park
Serre-Chevalier Piste Map >>